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End of Year Countdown - Day 22

Monday, November 19, 2012

So far, I've not gained an ounce. A minor miracle since I've certainly been "exposed" to many temptations already, including many eating-out events.

I'm remaining focused mainly on eating as many veggies as I can, many raw in salads with a wild variety of ingredients, because I know, I've learned and got the numbers to prove it, that those veggies are WONDERFUL for my health!

As we head into Thanksgiving week, doing some baking ahead of Turkey Day, visiting offices where food is already displayed like we're all stocking up before going into hibernation for winter, I have to stay AWARE. I prepare myself before I go anywhere. If I'm offered this or that, I'll just SAY NO without giving it any thought and tell a joke, give a compliment, say anything to change the subject. I will not consider food at all.

I have a pot of home-made chicken soup simmering on my stove today. I made the chicken bone broth a few weeks ago and put it in the freezer. Now I've added some water, cauliflower, onion, garlic, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes and a few poratbella slices to it.

I leave chunks of white meat in my bone broth so it's in my stew now. Very tasty, satisfying, non-starchy and high in minerals. Good for your bone density and for the flora in your gut as well. Hence the traditional chicken soup for your colds and flu.

It also has the perfect balance of alkalinity and acidity that your body needs to stay healthy.

All those "oldtimers" knew what they were doing, lol.

It takes effort for me to keep the right thoughts in my head that help me stay on track. But not as much effort as it will take if I go wild with food and then have to get rid of 10 pounds on January 1st!

So, are you filling your mind with thoughts that will keep you from filling your mouth with food?

Good luck to us all.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XNANNY 11/21/2012 4:28PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 11/20/2012 7:27AM

    The stew sounds delicious. How did you make the broth?

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DS9KIE 11/19/2012 11:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PJSTIME 11/19/2012 4:48PM

    Happy THanksgiving day and week. I dug out the dumplings out of my broth as they didn't turn out and I will add some veggies to the broth and chicken pieces and call it stew. I like chicken any way I can get it.

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ZEEDRA 11/19/2012 4:25PM

    Thanks, Karen. An interesting process. Good for you!
I wish I had the discipline, the one-day-at-a-time, that you have. Something very, very strong holds me back or....holds me in place.

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CHRISTINASP 11/19/2012 3:02PM

    "So, are you filling your mind with thoughts that will keep you from filling your mouth with food? "
As a matter of fact I just did a wonderful relaxation exercise together with my mom, a variation on the 'tonglen' method.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 11/19/2012 2:56PM

    I love chicken soup. It's one of my favorite things!

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GABY1948 11/19/2012 2:42PM

    Happy Thanksgiving, Karen! What a wonderful and informative blog. You are doiing so well! What a blessing you have been to us here on spark. So I hope you have a most blessed Thanksgiving! emoticon

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CSAGIRL 11/19/2012 12:48PM

    Well done! You are being so smart and proactive!

emoticon emoticon

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FISHINGLADY66 11/19/2012 12:42PM

    WOW! Karen, I just put on a pot of vegetable soup. I love cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, and onions etc in a pot of homemade chicken broth. Good Blog. Thanks, May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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RONNIEHUEY 11/19/2012 12:33PM

    emoticon Happy Turkey day emoticon

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End of Year Countdown - Day 6

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

End of Year Countdown Ė Day 6
My Eating Out Challenge, to myself.

I eat out a lot. Too much, really, for anyone trying to stay healthy and be thinner. And even though I know better, I always seem to see eating out as some sort of special celebration which excuses me from sticking with my program.

One of my regular eating out events is with my Girlfriend Group, which I organized about 7 years ago, knowing I was going to retire and that it would be important to stay in touch with the women who had been my friends during my working life.

So I invited some friends to meet me for dinner and bring one of their friends with them. We planned to meet every second Tuesday for dinner, to laugh and talk and, oh yes, EAT, lol.

Weíre still doing that, about 6-8 of us regular members now, it fluctuates, and having a really good time. But during the years Iíve noticed one of my friends who is very petite and has been the same size all these years, while I feel Iím a regular up and down roller coaster.

So I began to watch her eat. I observe what she orders and I find that our monthly meal is never a ďfood celebrationĒ for her. She consistently chooses the healthiest dish she can find on the menu of whatever restaurant we visit.

Hmmmm. I think Iíll do that. And yesterday I met a friend at the Olive Garden, aka the Pasta Palace, lol. Pasta is not my friend because itís rather like an addictive drug to me and once I start I donít want to stop.

So I focused on the healthiest dish I could find on the menu and was determined not to be distracted by the dessert menu, the pasta dishes, the breadsticks. I canít remember the name of the dish I ordered but it consisted of the tiniest chicken breast Iíve ever seen, some barely steamed broccoli, asparagus and tomatoes. After lunch I had a cup of black coffee, nothing added.

My friend and I yakked for an hour and a half, laughing out loud a lot of the time, and I never missed the food I didnít order. At the end of the meal, I felt wonderful, not stuffed, and pretty virtuous, lol.

It carried over to dinner when I grilled another pretty small chicken breast with some hot sauce on it and opened a can of green beans.

So, hereís my one small victory over the Pasta Palace, and my continuing win on Day 6 of my countdown to make it through the two most tempting months of the year with no terrible stuffed feelings and no gains.

Focus. Awareness. Attention. Have to concentrate and take nothing for granted.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEILIE2 11/14/2012 2:04PM

We went to the Olive Garden on Monday with friends..............it is a real treat for us as we drive from Ontario over to Watertown NY for lunch! The border guards get a chuckle out of it when we tell them the reason for our visit to NY state is to go to the Olive Garden for lunch!(retired people have way too much time on their hands sometimes!)
emoticon on your choices.

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JUSTJO66 11/7/2012 2:03PM

    Inspirational read Karen. I, too, have observed the naturally thin people and how they eat. My husand is one of those "people." :o) It has always amazed me how "picky" he can be with his eating. Everything has to be just perfect temp., texture, etc. or he won't eat it. Also, he has been known to want a banana split...we drove over 30 mins. to get it and he ate a few bites and was full. NEVER me...I would eat the thing regardless of being full or not. I even ate a pc. of candy at work once and commented that it tasted like soap. A thin nurse friend asked me, "why did you eat it if it tasted like soap." I was surprised at my own answer..."well, it was candy." Amazing how different really naturally thin people think. I think we food addicts like myself have a lot to learn from observing them.
Keep up the blog...

Comment edited on: 11/7/2012 2:05:17 PM

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JOANNS4 11/7/2012 7:05AM


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PJSTIME 11/6/2012 7:30PM

    I'm meeting girlfriends at Olive Garden on Friday also. And I have already decided on salad and ministrone soup.

Thanks Karen we need to keep each other in line.

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KAYYVAUGHN 11/6/2012 3:30PM

    You are an inspiration. I'm meeting some teacher friends at Olive Garden Friday for lunch. Now I know what to order.

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    eating out is one of my main problems. I always know what the most healthy choice on the menu is but often don't order it. I have finally gotten to where I try to order a steak and a salad.

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JEANNE229 11/6/2012 9:55AM

    Karen, I identify with that so much. When I retired, I did the same thing (we call our group the "lunch bunch" and gather once a month for lunch. I have noticed over the months we've been meeting I seldom even notice what I am eating. So if, like you, I make the good choice at the beginning of the meal, I won't miss a thing. Too busy gabbing and laughing. Thanks for the reminder. Any "meal out" can turn into a food celebration or a celebration of friends. The latter is much healthier and much more fun!

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MAMABUGAZ 11/6/2012 8:59AM

    Karen --

I eat out a lot too. But, it's on my diet. Eating out is not a celebratory meal, or an excuse to splurge, except occasionally (no more than once a month, and, even then, NEVER a binge).

My strategy is like your friend's strategy. I choose something healthy from the menu. Also, I control portion sizes. I eat a half-portion, usually. When the serving is exceptionally large, I sometimes eat less than that.

Learn to eye-ball sizes at restaurants, even when they serve food on large plates. Imagine that you have a lunch-size plate in front of you.
- I choose a deck-of-card size portion of meat (2-3 oz),
- only 1/2 cup of something starchy; that's tennis-ball size (If anything -- I might just increase my vegetables instead)
- and a cup of vegetables (that's baseball-size).

The vegetables take of half of your imaginary lunch-size plate, the meat takes up a quarter of your plate, and your startch takes up the other quarter.

I'm real careful, though, about starches. I avoid or limit white flour products especially, and other "whites" (white rice, white sugar). I choose less starchy vegetables, rather than potatoes or corn.

I lost my 60 pounds, even while eating out in restaurants 3-4 times per week. And, I've mostly maintained that weight over the last year, while continuing to eat out frequently.

I also tried to track all of my food, even restaurant food, while losing weight. Many restaurant foods are in SP's food tracker, because others have entered them. Or, you can search for them online on the restaurant's own websites.

~ Faith

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CHRISTINASP 11/6/2012 8:51AM

    Lovely post.
I'm reminded of weight coach Marna Thall who at some point decided to study the habits of naturally thin people and learned so much that she wrote a(n e-)book about it!
If you want to be thin, she says, do as the thin people do!

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WOUBBIE 11/6/2012 8:13AM

    It's funny how we come to equate celebrations with excess. While it's a joy to eat together with friends and family, why do we sometimes think it gives us an excuse to eat the foods that we know are toxic to us?

My dear old Aunt Mary had a million food sensitivities and allergies and she knew them very well, and it would drive my mom nuts when they would go out to eat and she would have something that usually gave her problems. "Mary, why are you eating that if you know it gives you spasms?!" "Well, you know, sometimes I can get away with it!"

LOL! I think that's part of our mentality: we gamble that maybe this time the offending food won't make us feel bloated, pack on a few pounds, cause us gastric distress, etc. If it ALWAYS made us feel crappy we'd probably finally learn to just avoied it, but, "Well, you know, sometimes I can get away with it!"


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FISHINGLADY66 11/6/2012 8:04AM

    I'm so proud of you Karen. You have just taken a giant step to healthy eating while eating out. That is a hard habit to establish. emoticon emoticon Always keep this forward in your mind. emoticon job friend. ((Hugs))

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GABY1948 11/6/2012 7:24AM

    emoticon emoticon

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End Of Year Countdown - Day 1

Thursday, November 01, 2012

November and December can be THE most difficult months to lose weight, maintain weight and just stay healthy.

We begin by eating leftover Halloween candy.
Then we start trying recipes for Thanksgiving, and baking ahead for the family get together.
Then we start baking "gifts" to give away for Christmas presents.
Then we find that everywhere we go, offices are full of seasonal treats, ours for the tasting.
You may be eating out more often, having company staying with you and baking and cooking for them.

You've probably come a long way since last year's holiday celebrations. Don't lose it all now. Don't give up the rewards of all your hard work, planning and discipline.

I'm preaching to myself here, really. Because I need to hear it, need to say it, need to write it. Need to heed it!

So here is the warning sign of the times.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFATFIRST77 11/20/2012 12:59AM

    I needed this reminder! Thank you, well said emoticon

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DS9KIE 11/2/2012 10:59PM


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CHRISTINASP 11/2/2012 5:31PM

    Very good points. Thank you!

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    I'm already struggling but learned some valuable lessons over Halloween that I hope I apply to Thanksgiving and Xmas. The main thing is to make careful choices and only splurge on what you really love.

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AMARILYNH 11/1/2012 1:51PM

    Great advice for all of us!

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JEANNE229 11/1/2012 12:34PM

    Beautifully put!

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PJSTIME 11/1/2012 9:54AM

    Oh Karen I so needed to be reminded of this. The candy jar at work this morning is overfilled with halloween candy that everyone has brought in so they don't have it at home.

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TUFFYBIRD 11/1/2012 9:14AM

    Great advice Karen; at this time of year I think we can all use the reminder,

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HEALTHY4ME 11/1/2012 9:06AM

    Thanks even though our thanksgiving is over, halloween candy is here, the little bars that are left I don't like so hopefully that isn't as much a temptation, sorry reeses pb cups.

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GABY1948 11/1/2012 9:03AM

    GREAT reminder, Karen, thanks for sharing!

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MADAMES 11/1/2012 8:57AM

    Great reminder!! Thanks.

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KAYYVAUGHN 11/1/2012 8:44AM

    Thanks for the reminder. It's difficult, but I'm trying.

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JUSTJO66 11/1/2012 8:38AM

    Great reminder. It seems every year I make a commitment to NOT gain
over the holidays and then fall short of that goal. This year I want to
be at least 5 lbs. less on Jan. 1st.
Here's to the COUNT down !!

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ZEEDRA 11/1/2012 8:29AM

    I can't believe we're on the countdown of another year!!!!
Thanks for eye-opener.
Good luck with it; good luck everybody else; good luck to me!
Oh....and if luck doesn't work...I guess we'll have to try work itself! :)

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FISHINGLADY66 11/1/2012 8:21AM

    Great Blog Karen. I needed to be reminded of this also. Thanks for bringing this to my attention again. ((Hugs)). Have a Healthy and Happy November.

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Thursday, October 04, 2012

My recent physical exam made me aware of many health-related things.

One thing, that I remember thinking EACH TIME I see my doctor, which is only when I have a check-up, is that OBESITY is a real problem, EVERYWHERE.

Every nurse or tech person that drew my blood, took my vitals, etc. etc. in the clinic where I go, is OVERWEIGHT. Not just by 10 or 15 lbs either. A LOT more.

Also, as I looked around the waiting room, almost every person there was in the same shape.

If I want to feel really thin, I can just sit in the clinic for a while and watch all the patients AND the EMPLOYEES, because they are all so overweight.

My doctor is the exception. As I wrote in a previous blog, he's very thin. He told me, during our long talk about health and exercise, that America is DEFINITELY going to lose the battle against obesity.

He, like me, notices how often food is shoved in our face. On tv and in person. He says he brings yogurt and fruit or some other light lunch to the clinic everyday. And if there is a meeting of any kind, he stays away from the food table, which is ALWAYS there, always loaded.

It's a battle. And only the most dedicated warriors will win.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLEE1945 10/6/2012 9:38AM

    I have had the same experience. When I go places, I notice how overweight everyone seems to be. I subscribe to a blog called "Summer Tomato", the gal who does it is in her 30's and very food conscious. Well, she just wrote about gaining 5 pounds, inadvertently, just by a small change of lifestyle. She writes about it very well, and I recommend her website. What really strikes me is how just little habits really add up to weight gain.

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ZEEDRA 10/5/2012 4:48PM

    Orodeo73: Love your idea.

Once again, I regret my too-long (much too-long) reply before this...telling you what you already know! :(

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ZEEDRA 10/5/2012 11:57AM

    Oh, there is just so much to say about this. It's a different world and there are all kinds of things written about metabolic syndrome, food addiction, problems with how wheat is grown and animals fed and hence how these things are contributing to poor health. And then there is the astronomical amount of pop (soda) consumed from toddlers on up.
I have a very obese friend in her 60's who buys pop by the cases. I have a diet Coke or Pepsi sometimes when I go to Swiss Chalet (about once every two or three months or less). Even those of us with some bad habits can still do fairly well when we throw in some good habits. Ha!

And convenience foods: it's not all bad but many people have gotten away from cooking from scratch and I'm one of them, except...most of the time I think I've struck a good balance except for money spent.

My mother was a CNA (now called LPN) and she always said that those years of working without lunch breaks or sometimes without any breaks ruined her health (including bowel habits). But I questioned early on the switch from an eight hour day to a 12 hour day for nursing staff. I had a desk job for the most part but I would have been happy with five hours instead of eight. I think the 12-hour shifts have ruined many workers' health and for what? A few extra days to work at home!!! I think even for a family it's better to be able to have more time at home on a daily basis. I'm sure there are different opinions. Sometimes there are no choices but I think with the nurses, it was their choice.

Now they're talking about hormonal and/or thyroid problems with BPA--from mothers to babies, etc.etc.

I feel very sad for the people who are hooked on cheap carbs as a form of sustenance. I'm hooked myself but eat healthy food around this bad habit.

Jamie Oliver had a show on TV where he tried to change a whole town in the U.S. that had a high percentage of overweight people, especially children. It was an uphill battle for him to talk school officials, cafeteria people, parents, etc. into accepting his ideas and changes.

Well....I'm off to get a coffee at MacDonald's and perhaps a little chicken fajita...good coffee and not a bad lunch (I'll have salad for supper).

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KAYYVAUGHN 10/5/2012 10:04AM

    At buffets, I really notice overweight people. They will have 2 plates full of food. Don't they realize that they can go back for more. They don't need that much food at one time.
I start with a salad or soup. Then I get a vegetable plate. Sometimes I get a small drumstick and take the skin off. A yam or watermelon is my dessert, although those homemade cobblers really look delicious.

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FISHINGLADY66 10/4/2012 9:44PM

    This is so true. I have noticed all the heavy people, everywhere. In the news, on TV, all the people they show on the streets are very heavy. It's very sad that food is the number one thing on everyone's mind. You can't drive down a city street or on a highway without seeing signs for places to eat. Eating too much of the fat, grease, and sugary foods will kill more people than most diseases. Thanks for sharing this.

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KICK-SS 10/4/2012 6:58PM

    The other day I was at Costco and I started noticing the people and their shopping carts and the tremendous amount of overweight and obese people among them. And.. sadly, the more obese were the ones with the trays of muffins, cinnamon rolls, breads and all that stuff. The thinner ones had the meat, veggies, fruits, etc. It was quite an insight.

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-LINDA_S 10/4/2012 11:21AM

    Yes, it's very sad. I would think it would be different between nurses in doctors' offices and those in hospitals, but I have no personal knowledge. You'd think they'd find a way to keep the healthcare personnel healthy so they could be better workers and not get sick or burned out. But I guess it's shrot term profit they're after, as usual.

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BELTONWALKER67 10/4/2012 9:54AM

    I think it's because we have it so easy now. I don't remember overweight people when I was growing up. If we wanted foods we had to work for it. Want milk...go milk a cow. Want a veggie...go to the garden and get it..then wash & prepare it. No McDonalds or Burger King back then! On a recent visit to my old home town, with my granddaughter, I made a comment about how my best friend lived about 5 miles from where I grew up and I use to get off the school bus at her house and then walk home. She thought that was unreal!! Course, those country roads are all gone now and replaced with four lane highways. Progress sometimes brings not so wise lifestyle choices!

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    Yep, when I worked as a nurse I was thin and the exception to the rule. I was almost always the thinnest nurse in the room. Menopause and medical problems changed all that. So it is more important than ever that I eat right.

Even at my weight when I go to the grocery store and shopping I am often one of the thinner women there if the teens are in school. Everyone is overweight now and lots are obese.

I feel I must defend nurses though as I am privy to what goes on in these clinics and hospitals. Nurses don't often don't get the opportunity to eat right. I probably can count on one hand the times that I got my full lunch break and/or break. You have to grab something and go which leads to portable, bad, vending machine choices. I would take a healthy lunch and have no time to eat it . You can't eat anything with a spoon or fork or even sit down to eat it. You can't eat in the nurse's station and you have to answer the phone and patient call lights even if you could. You have to grab a minute and wolf something down. You are lucky if you can find a piece of fruit unless you brought it yourself and then there is no time to peel it. I was thin because I was in charge and couldn't even find the time to grab something. I had trouble finding time to use the restroom and I'm not exaggerating. I sometimes had to pee hovering over a dirty hopper because we didn't have a rest room in ICU and there was no one available to relieve me. No one can go 14 hours without peeing but I worked plenty of 14 hour days without anything to eat - thus my thinness.

Your doctor is probably the least busy person in his office and I'm being serious. He comes in for 5 to 10 minutes to talk to a patient and do his otoscope, B.P. taking, hand holding thing while the rest of the work is done by his staff who run themselves to death. The staff answers the phone, makes appointments, sets up medical tests and does them, does your exam, etc. And from my personal experience while the staff is doing this the doctor is often in his office resting and eating his lunch. Or not even there. Sometimes his lunch is not healthy either. There are plenty of fat doctors. I knew one who would eat an entire bag of potato for lunch. Doctors are on call a lot so they have to pace themselves and most of them do or burn out. The delegate as much as they can. You had a long talk with your doctor but I bet his nurse doesn't have time for long talks and probably works through her lunch a lot. I worked with some really obese nurses who were actually very physically fit due to the 12-16 hour works days. And, 14 hours days happened a lot. It's pretty difficult to take enough healthy food for 10 - 16 hours even if you had time to eat it. They don't provide a lot of room for coolers. LOL. At meetings my former employer served healthy food and it was always consumed. Veggie trays and fruit trays were really popular and always preferred over the dry cheese sandwich.

This is why there is a nursing shortage. You destroy your own health taking care of others. It's a huge burn out job. Been there, done that. emoticon

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GABY1948 10/4/2012 7:42AM

    This is so true! I notice this EVERYWHERE...and especially children...they are all FAR heavier than we were as children. It is sad...but it's not going to go anywhere with all advertising and prepared foods geared toward the MIGHTY DOLLAR...they don't care about people as long as they make the money! Truly sad.

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ORODEO73 10/4/2012 7:41AM

    Start small. Start with yourself and family then expand by sharign your results. One person you touch could each touch another. Its slow but its a start!

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    Very true but maybe we can help change that one person at a time. People have to realize there is a problem and want to change. I'm working with my family to teach them how to make healthier choices.

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Lab Results for Routine Physical

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

All that research and hard work has paid off for me.

This time last year my cholesterol was 210. It had NEVER been that high before. After all my research, and yaking about it constantly with all my SP friends (Thank you all for being so nice about it, lol) I figured out what worked.

Now my Total Cholesterol is 167, HDL 90, LDL 69, Triglycerides 38! I'm a happy camper.

The formula was simple, once I figured it out:

AVOID SUGAR and STARCH as much as possible;
Eat all the raw (or very lightly cooked/roasted/sauteed) veggies I can.

That's it. That's my Way Of Eating.

I still eat meat. Just not every day and not every meal of any day.
I eat a fairly high fat diet with real butter and lots of olive oil and a steak or pork ribs now and then.

The only thing a little off was my Thyroid. It's a little slow. Not much. Doc wants me to re-test in 3 months. No dietary remedies for that, unfortunately. It's hereditary.

Hey, can I blame that for taking so long to lose weight? LOL. NO. That happens because now and then I stray into pastry or pizza, lol. I'm not perfect. But I'm pretty sure you already knew that.


PS: I also monitor my Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure at home every day and I get a fasting cholesterol panel at my local pharmacy every 3-4 months. I think those numbers are important. How do you know how you're doing if you only get those tested once a year, or less? Hmmm?

I'll be 64 this month. Have to get it right.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEILIE2 10/10/2012 11:40AM

you have done so well!!!

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AGENTMNA 10/4/2012 6:15PM

    I love your simplified way of eating! emoticon

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CHRISTINASP 10/4/2012 9:49AM

    "AVOID SUGAR and STARCH as much as possible;
Eat all the raw (or very lightly cooked/roasted/sauteed) veggies I can.

That's it. That's my Way Of Eating."

Oh Karen, I'm sorry. I hate to point this out to you but.... You can never write a diet book - bestseller using only two lines! emoticon

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KAYYVAUGHN 10/4/2012 6:22AM

    You are doing great because you are taking charge of your health. Your results are very good. Everybody has something to work on or we would not be normal.


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NOMIS1 10/3/2012 9:36PM

    How wonderful.

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ZEEDRA 10/3/2012 9:00PM


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    Good job!!! You are doing great. Congratulations on getting it right.

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KICK-SS 10/3/2012 8:18PM

    Your numbers look really good! Keep up the good work.

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CHERYLL1949 10/3/2012 7:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GABY1948 10/3/2012 7:40PM

    emoticon I'm so happy for you! And me...cause I try to follow everything you do so I have more to work at...my fat is always low and I think it makes my body crave it...either way I am still sugar free (day 33 or something) and feel better than I have since even when I first lost all my weight so thank you again and emoticon

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PJSTIME 10/3/2012 6:59PM

    Great results on your checkup. All that change in your eating has paid off. I like my pizza too.

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TUFFYBIRD 10/3/2012 6:31PM

    Great results on your eating/exercise plan. emoticon

Personally, I don't monitor more often than once a year my because my cholesterol is consistently good and my BP low - a month ago 120/72 - so I'm not concerned. If I had any warning signs, though, it would be a different story.

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3G1RLS4ME 10/3/2012 6:12PM

    Congrats on good cholesterol #'s

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RAPUNZEL53 10/3/2012 6:07PM

  emoticon emoticon

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KNYAGENYA 10/3/2012 6:05PM

    Congrats! I hope you can continue it.

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